How to help support your immune system?
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Caring for your immune system can be complicated and stressful – especially if you don’t quite know how best to go about it. With this in mind, Berocca takes a look at how to help support your immune system…
What is your immune system and what does it do?
The human immune system is a complex composition of cells and proteins working to protect our bodies from infection. It can even recognise germs (microbes) that it has encountered previously, thereby being able to destroy these interlopers quickly should they enter the body again.
Ways to help support your immune system
Most medical experts agree that a healthy lifestyle and diet can help support immune system function. Below are a few suggestions:
- Eat a diet consisting primarily of fresh fruits and vegetables, with minimal processed foods
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Don’t smoke
- Limit your alcohol intake
- Keep good personal hygiene habits
- Try and reduce stress levels
These measures can each contribute positively to the immune system.
Exercise and the immune system
Exercise and general well-being go hand-in-hand, but frequent fitness sessions can have a positive effect on the immune system too. There’s no clear answer why. However, one theory posits that by raising core body temperature through moderate physical exertion, you stop bacteria from growing – like with a fever.
Whatever the science, there’s little dispute regarding the benefits of consistent physical activity, including:
- A 30-minute walk each day
- Visits to the gym several times a week
- This should consist of a minimum 30-minute calisthenics workout every session: walking, rowing, cycling, running on a treadmill, etc.
- Playing a weekly game of golf
These are just some of the exercises that may help strengthen your immune system. If you’re concerned about how much exercise you should be getting, talk to your doctor.
Vitamins contributing to normal immune function
Supplementing your diet and exercise routine with the right vitamins is another way to help support your immune system function.
Immune system-supporting vitamins come in many different forms, such as:
- Vitamin C – good natural sources of which include oranges, broccoli, tomatoes and strawberries (the recommended amount for adults aged between 19 and 64 is 40mg per day)
- Zinc – which can be found in meat, shellfish, dairy products like cheese and cereal products like wheat germ (the recommended amount for men aged between 19 and 64 is 9.5mg per day, and for women, it’s 7mg per day); you should be able to get all the zinc you need from your daily diet
- Vitamin B12 – obtainable, for example, through meat, fish like salmon and cod, and dairy products like milk and cheese, in addition to eggs and some fortified breakfast cereals (the recommended amount for adults aged between 19 and 64 is 1.5 microgram per day)
- and B6 – present in a wide variety of foods, including pork, poultry, vegetables, soya beans and potatoes (the recommended amount for men aged between 19 and 64 is 1.4mg per day, and for women of the same age, it’s 1.2mg per day)
- Folate/folic acid – another vitamin which can help support the immune system, good sources of which include peas, broccoli, Brussel sprouts and leafy green vegetables like cabbage and spinach (adults should be getting 200 micrograms per day)
While vitamins and minerals are readily obtainable from food, taking a supplement on a regular basis may help benefit your body’s natural functions, including supporting the immune system if they contain nutrients such as Vitamin B6, which contributes to the normal function of the immune system. This is where Berocca products come in, as they contain both Vitamin B6 and B12, two ingredients that help support your immune system.
However, some vitamin supplements can cause harmful side effects when taken with certain medications. Be sure to check with a doctor first if you plan on using supplements alongside your medication or have any questions about this.
Remember, eating a balanced diet, having good hygiene and sleeping habits, and engaging in regular physical exercise are all good ways to help support your immune system.
If you’re concerned about your immune system, get in touch with a medical professional who can advise you on an appropriate course of action…